Fuel Economy fuel economy - classic vs. aerodynamic trucks

DubbleD

Color Commentator
Prudent business oversight includes monitoring fuel consumption constantly as this is one cost associated with the performance of each truck that indicates issues to more than just the bottom line.

A drop in MPG can indicate numerous items that need to be checked and re-checked;
1. Engine components
2. Driving conditions
3. Driver
4. Load etc....

...all must be taken into consideration.

Owning a W900 or a 379/389 for the style is not a business decision but more an ego related issue.

These truck styles are notoriously poor in the MPG category. Most of us still love the "OLD STYLE" look and yes, due to a longer wheel base they will have better ride if the drivers seat is fixed but as a business decision, owning the newer more aerodynamic styles will START your MPG in the 7's and seeing 9's if the driver is careful is possible.

1 more MPG to a 12,000 mile month adds $1,000+/- per truck to the bottom line and $12,000 to a year in fuel cost savings alone and this doesn't even compute the maintenance savings of a newer more aerodynamic shape.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
This sounds like a good stand alone discussion, so I have moved it to it's own thread.

A good case can be made for both sides of the arguement, curious as to the facts that back up each opinion.
 

blackw900

Flatbedder For Life!
I couldn't care less about the fuel mileage differences, because in the real world they are negligible....I'm just wanting clarification of the "claim" that there are maintenance cost advantages to a aerodyne vs. a classic style, particularly when the opposite is true in many cases due to the difficulty of getting to some of the components on an aerodyne style truck as opposed to the relative ease of access on a classic.
In all other regards the trucks share identical components and the cost of maintenance would be virtually the same.

The fuel mileage differences are much more related to driving habits as opposed to a minor shape change of the truck exterior.
The drag underneath the truck is far more detrimental to fuel mileage than the relatively slight shape changes that are available to the exterior.
This undercarriage drag stuff has been addressed as much as possible in van and reefer operations but is highly impractical in open deck operations due to the terrain that we sometimes find ourselves in.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
The drag underneath the truck is a huge factor, but the overall shape of the truck is a factor as well.
I think the biggest gains on trailers have come from the undercarriage mounted products that push air under the axles. To apply this to trucks, something must be used to compress the air and push it under or out the sides to minimize the turbulence. Hard to do much about this other than keeping a low profile and closing off as much air intake as possible outside of the radiator area where you need it. Are these newer aerodynamic trucks doing anything to accomplish this?

Can't place a number on it, but I do believe there is a fuel economy increase.

The term negligible really comes down to a case of personal opinion. For those chasing the best fuel economy possible, every .1 mpg matters. Some believe in this theory, some don't. To some it matters, to others it don't.
 

DubbleD

Color Commentator
There is no argument in regard to performance of a diesel engine and the multitude of transmission that create a pulling device that will haul a load down the road.

BW's only argument is "old school" and the profile of a truck that pulls the load.

For a new driver or company to take on a fleet of bricks affects the bottom line and fuel consumed by a particular body style is simply a thought process that needs to be overcome for a new owner operator.

If you have everything in your life paid for, as @ B blackw900 claims he does then by all means..... drive a truck or own a fleet of trucks that unnecessarily suck fuel (and profit) from the bottom line.

BW is one of a few that represent "OLD SCHOOL" trucking and that's by his own choice.

If you want to operate a business... then the old school doesn't work, You will go broke purchasing fuel and anyone who argues that point has a check book that is bigger than the ego.
 

blackw900

Flatbedder For Life!
BW's only argument is "old school" and the profile of a truck that pulls the load.
No....If you would actually READ what I said instead of just trying to disagree with me because it's me, you might understand that my argument is that there are differences, but that the differences are negligible for the most part.
Your mileage is probably just about the same as mine or maybe a couple of tenths better or worse....Truth be told.


If you have everything in your life paid for, as @ B blackw900 claims he does then by all means..... drive a truck or own a fleet of trucks that unnecessarily suck fuel (and profit) from the bottom line.
My truck does not "suck fuel".....But as with anything that goes against your pre-conceived opinion, you ignore that fact.
There are many trucks out here, Areo and non Areo, company and O/O who's drivers/owners can only dream about fuel mileage numbers like mine...The only thing standing between these guys and good fuel mileage is "bad habits" for the most part.
That can not be cured by some minor shape changes to the cab and hood.

BW is one of a many that represent "REAL" trucking and that's by his own choice.
Fixed....


If you want to operate a business... then the old school doesn't work, You will go broke purchasing fuel and anyone who argues that point has a check book that is bigger than the ego.
If you run for the cheap rates that some of you run for and try to make up for it by running 15,000 miles a month.....I agree, you will go broke.
I've had guys like you telling me that I'm gonna go broke for a long time....They're pretty much all out of business now, and I'm still here, doing it the wrong way (according to them)


But hey....What do I know?
 

Duck

Bumper sticker slogan goes here
Supporter
@ B blackw900

Y'all are forgetting DubbleD operates a handful of trucks & employs drivers.

Assuming his drivers are flat-footing it everywhere & getting 6.5 mpg in the aero trucks, what do you think those same drivers would get for fuel economy driving a truck identical to your W900?

I personally don't give a **** about fuel economy when I'm driving one of VW's underpowered piece of **** trucks with the 2010 emissions garbage. I used to care with their older trucks, but I flat-foot the newer junk because it's the only way to get it accelerated to highway speeds in any reasonable amount of time. And I still get 6.5 - 7 mpg with them. If I were to drive a truck identical to yours in the same manner, it would be hard to compare because it would get moving faster & I'd be backing off the fuel a lot sooner, but do you think I'd still be getting 6.5-7 mpg that way?
 

blackw900

Flatbedder For Life!
@ B blackw900

Y'all are forgetting DubbleD operates a handful of trucks & employs drivers.

Assuming his drivers are flat-footing it everywhere & getting 6.5 mpg in the aero trucks, what do you think those same drivers would get for fuel economy driving a truck identical to your W900?
Hence the reference to "bad habits" in my previous post.

I personally don't give a **** about fuel economy when I'm driving one of VW's underpowered piece of **** trucks with the 2010 emissions garbage. I used to care with their older trucks, but I flat-foot the newer junk because it's the only way to get it accelerated to highway speeds PERIOD. And I still get 6.5 - 7 mpg with them. If I were to drive a truck identical to yours, in the same manner, it would be hard to compare because it would get moving faster & I'd be backing off the fuel a lot sooner, but do you think I'd still be getting 6.5-7 mpg that way?
I don't really sweat fuel mileage much either.....I keep track of it and I drive in an economical fashion, more to not damage my truck than for fuel mileage.
I get good mileage as a result of these habits that I have developed over the years.
If you drove a truck like mine, like you drive one of those "ugly duckling" truck where you work....You'd probably get about 3 MPG.
I drive the style of truck I drive because I like the way it looks....I would retire if I ever had to drive one of those droopy looking, plastic monstrosities that they call trucks these days.
 

Duck

Bumper sticker slogan goes here
Supporter
I drive the style of truck I drive because I like the way it looks....I would retire if I ever had to drive one of those droopy looking, plastic monstrosities that they call trucks these days.
You just said the same thing, in different words, that DubbleD said in posts #1 & #6 that you seemed to disagree with. :headscratch2:
 

blackw900

Flatbedder For Life!
You just said the same thing, in different words, that DubbleD said in posts #1 & #7 that you seemed to disagree with. :headscratch2:

He seems to think that anyone that drives a classic style truck is a troglodyte that has no interest in making money....My position is that you can make money with any style truck that you choose to run.
The people that constantly fall back on the term " brick" when referring to a conventional tractor are apparently working on the assumption that the front of the truck is as solid as a rock and that air can't pass through the radiator and that it has to go around all of that flatness in the front of the truck.
Obviously that's not the case....

I drive the style of truck that I like....I make very good money with that truck...I run the way I want to because I can.
I run about half as many miles as the 15,000 mile a month crowd and yet I take home more money at the end of the day.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Cleaned all the crap out of this thread for the most part.

Please keep any further discussion about comparisons to fuel economy. Keep it productive. Keep it civil.
 

Rigjockey

In Gord we trust!
Supporter
I was in a T660 485hp. I was getting 6 and 6.5 mpg consistently. I went into a 587 450hp and was getting 8 and 8.5 mpg. Same driver. The T660 is a little brickier and a bit more power. What to make of that I don't know but, that is a pretty big jump.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
You missed a spot right over....... there-------------------->. :poo2:
Thanks. My bucket was full.

I personally have never driven a w9 or a 379 when I had any care about fuel economy. Even with my own truck, it was a time where fuel costs just simply didn't matter to me. 5.5 was plenty good.

I watch it today though, and for me, the potential difference in fuel economy will likely make a major decision in a truck purchase next year.

A w9 would be nice to own, but I am perfectly comfortable in an aerodynamic styled truck. I simply want what is going to make me the most money because that is the only reason I am out here.

I just hear lots of opinions on fuel economy, seeing the numbers from the different styles of trucks is interesting, at least to me.

If you are out to earn the most profit per mile possible, fuel economy matters. If you are happy with what you are earning, then a topic like this isn't important to you.

I want a truck that can keep me consistently above 8mpg on average. Neither style is going to do that on it's own, but if the difference between the two is close to 1mpg, then i'm going with the one that gives me the best fuel economy. If the different is 2 tenths at best, then that changes the scenario.
 

Les2

Hobbie Trucker
This is always an interesting discussion. What amazes me is how so many claim on the forums how they get 7,8,9mpg but when you talk to guys who own trucks just like theirs they can't come close to that and have even changed driving habits to get close, but still no luck. I've heard how Detroits, Volvo, Cummins and Paccar engines are so great on fuel mileage but they eat it up in maintenance cause they are so problematic. In reality most guys who run the speed limit and actually try to get somewhere in a timely manor will tell you the fuel mileage isn't so great.

Fuel mileage also goes with what you do. I don't care so much about it due to the fact of what I haul. I get around 5.5mpg, but I put on the trailer more than 99.99999% of you legally can haul. SO since I am hauling more than one load does that make my fuel mileage 11mpg? I own a FLD120 and IIRC it was the most aerodynamic truck on the market up until a few years ago, i may be wrong on that but at the time it came out it was listed as the most aero truck.

One more thing to really throw things off...... I'm sure you all remember the International cabover JB and Schneider used to run....? Those bricks were capable of getting upwards of 7mpg... So....... explain that whole aerodynamic thing again....lol?
 

Duck

Bumper sticker slogan goes here
Supporter
I own a FLD120 and IIRC it was the most aerodynamic truck on the market up until a few years ago, i may be wrong on that but at the time it came out it was listed as the most aero truck.
When did they come out with the FLD vs. when did FL come out with the FLD? The first 3 trucks I was assigned to were FLD's. The only thing I liked about them was the interior space.
 

Les2

Hobbie Trucker
When did they come out with the FLD vs. when did FL come out with the FLD? The first 3 trucks I was assigned to were FLD's. The only thing I liked about them was the interior space.
was it 88? I know they had them in 89.
 

Duck

Bumper sticker slogan goes here
Supporter
When did they come out with the FLD vs. when did FL come out with the FLD? The first 3 trucks I was assigned to were FLD's. The only thing I liked about them was the interior space.
:bonk::bonk::bonk:

I was trying to ask which came out first, the FLD or the anteater T-600, but apparently my brain malfunctioned. :rolleyes:
 

Rigjockey

In Gord we trust!
Supporter
Fuel mileage also goes with what you do. I don't care so much about it due to the fact of what I haul. I get around 5.5mpg, but I put on the trailer more than 99.99999% of you legally can haul. SO since I am hauling more than one load does that make my fuel mileage 11mpg? I own a FLD120 and IIRC it was the most aerodynamic truck on the market up until a few years ago, i may be wrong on that but at the time it came out it was listed as the most aero truck.
I am now probably around te same or less. Having 74,000 on the deck on a quad axle trailer
One more thing to really throw things off...... I'm sure you all remember the International cabover JB and Schneider used to run....? Those bricks were capable of getting upwards of 7mpg... So....... explain that whole aerodynamic thing again....lol?
I was told by the experts when I got into trucking, In the 90s that cabovers where the future based on aerodynamics and that conventional s would be Phased out.

Their theory was once the airflow was moved around a cab over, It was smooth sailing for the air around a van. I don't know about all that. I do know drivers prefer a conventional and also the engines where not burdened by this enviro crap.

Sure to the general public a truck blowing out black smoke looks bad. It is not all that bad in reality. To a trucker black smoke looks pretty good. If you can get a flame out of there it looks real good.
 
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